Last month, a U.S. Coast Guard patrol vessel off the coast of Ecuador was forced to take evasive action when a Chinese fishing boat tried to ram it to avoid being boarded and inspected. The incident highlights the growing risk for conflict over fishing rights amid heightened geopolitical rivalry on the world’s oceans.
Writing about human security and international law often means writing about the worst things in the world. With the holidays around the corner, it’s worth sharing a few stories that show how numerous strategies—including NGO activism and nonviolent protest movements—are making a positive difference for human security worldwide.
In defending themselves from foreign interference, Western countries currently tend to look at all the tools used to pursue it in isolation. In order to effectively defend themselves, however, Western governments ought to see all the tools of foreign interference as elements of a strategic continuum, requiring a holistic response.
U.S. President Joe Biden hosted 49 African leaders during this week’s U.S.-Africa Summit in an effort to improve ties damaged by the four tumultuous years of the Trump administration. Biden administration officials announced a raft of initiatives as a signal of Washington’s intent. But it is unlikely the summit alone will overcome lukewarm attitudes in African capitals toward Washington.
When U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hands over the gavel next year, it will mark the end of an era in U.S. politics, with the greatest impact immediately visible on domestic policy. But Pelosi has also played a major role in foreign policy, deploying her political skills in pursuit of a mostly hawkish, internationalist worldview.
Even as both sides in Ethiopia implement the first steps of a peace accord, the impact of its civil war can be seen in regional and international responses to other conflicts in Africa. That could presage deep changes in how the West engages with African security issues, and the distribution of roles in addressing them.
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Saudi Arabia last week for a four-day trip that included three summits in Riyadh with a range of Arab leaders. A bilateral strategic agreement signed by Riyadh and Beijing during Xi’s visit signals Saudi Arabia’s determination to diversify its partnerships and China’s growing role in the region.
Cities have emerged as key leaders in implementing climate solutions. But while transport and energy often get more attention, the construction and operation of buildings is typically a city’s highest source of emissions. It’s not surprising, then, that buildings have become a top priority for climate action for U.S. cities.
Recent developments in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, the U.S. and Peru show that the guardrails of democracy can hold in the Americas. Institutions can restrain populist leaders who abuse their authority. Hyper-presidentialism, in which the executive can do whatever it pleases, is not guaranteed. Checks and balances can work.
War is hell, but for large and politically influential defense contractors, it is also good business. This is fueling claims among some NATO allies that the U.S. is profiting from the war in Ukraine. There is no denying that U.S. defense contractors are benefiting, but accusations of war profiteering are simply off base.
This past June marked a milestone in trans-Atlantic energy relations: For the first time, the European Union bought more natural gas from the United States than from Russia. In some ways, this was a positive development for both sides. The EU, however, is also discovering that the U.S. is a strange energy superpower to partner with.
Whether driven by the desire to secure his legacy, avoid prosecution or stroke his ego, Donald Trump’s reelection bid is a move that will be familiar to observers in Latin America, where ex-presidents often seek a return to office. The lesson from these campaigns is clear: They seldom end well and often undermine democracy.
Tensions over the war in Ukraine have relaxed since the U.S. midterm congressional elections but could ramp up again if Europe continues to fall behind the U.S. when it comes to providing financial and military support for Kyiv. Europe cannot afford a rift on this issue while Ukraine’s–and its own—security is on the line.
French President Emmanuel Macron is in Washington this week for an official state visit to the United States. While the visit comes at a pivotal moment in the bilateral relationship, many European observers are paying attention to the areas of divergence over issues related to trade and Western unity as the war in Ukraine drags on.